Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: My Son's Goal in Life

(Recovered from Blogjob, where it was tagged with: Dave Barrygift book for sick patientjokes about childrenjokes about parentingjokes for childrenlaughter for pain management.)

A Fair Trade Book
Title: My Teenage Son's Goal in Life Is to Make Me Feel 3,500 Years Old 
(If you click on that link, you'll be able to buy a new copy of this gift-style book...the photographer who "copyrighted" the picture of Bill Wax's photo, Tim Lynch's jacket design, and Dave Barry's face shouldn't complain.)
Author: Dave Barry
Date: 2001
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
ISBN: 0-7407-1526-7
Length: 108 pages
Illustrations: blue-and-white drawings by Matthew Taylor
Quote: "As far as babies are concerned, the sole function of the world is to provide objects for them to drool on."
This book was designed for giving, especially, I suspect, to patients who may want to use laughter for pain relief. At least, it seems an ideal book for their purposes. It's small enough to hold easily in one hand; it's printed in large clear readable fonts, with changes of font to remind readers that each section is a new joke; it's just one laugh-out-loud joke after another, no need to follow a plot line, although some patients might be alert enough to remember that...
"If you were to open up a baby--and I am not for a minute suggesting that you should--you would find that 85 to 90 percent of the space reserved for bodily organs is taken up by huge, highly active drool glands."
...(which occupies all of page 32) is quoted from Babies and Other Hazards of Sex. In fact, most of the jokes in this book are quoted from books Barry wrote before 2001.
Barry had, at this point, extensive experience bringing up a son and little experience with daughters, so most of his jokes are about boys. Children of all ages are, however, equally fair game.
"[M]y home computer has an educational program that enables you to control an entire simulated planet--its ecology, its technology, its weather, etc. My ten-year-old son and his friends...learned some important ecological lessons, the main one being never, ever put ten-year-old boys in charge of a planet ("Let's see what happens when you have volcanoes and nuclear war!")."
"We recently had a party for our son's thirteenth birthday...We ordered a large quantity of cold cuts for the youngsters to ignore, as well as a nice fresh vegetable platter for them to actively avoid."
"My son is learning to drive. This terrifies me. He's four years old. Well, technically he's fifteen. But from the perspective of the aging parent there is no difference between four and fifteen."
Right. If you like to laugh, don't already own this book, and have not already memorized all of Barry's earlier books, you want this one. You may buy the new edition linked to the photo above for three times its original price, especially if you know a collector who will keep it under glass until the price quintuples. If you buy it here, however, you need send only $5 per copy + $5 per package, which adds up to the original price of this book when new, + $1 per online payment, to either address at the bottom of the screen, and Barry or a charity of his choice will receive $1 per copy. (You could fit at least eight copies of this book into a package for $45, of which Barry or his charity would receive $8.)